Henare Potae of Uawa and Henare Potae wrote two manuscript books which have subsequently been entitled “Māori Manuscripts of Mohi Ruatapu and Henare Potae”. The books are housed in the Alexander Turnbull Library and contain text of myths, legends, ritual chants and songs. Four texts of these manuscripts were published in the Journal of the Polynesian Society in 1928 and 1929 by Elsdon Best.
- Māori Manuscripts of Mohi Ruatapu and Henare Potae.
- These two manuscript books are housed in the Alexander Turnbull Library and were written about 1876 by Mohi Ruatapu and Henare Potae of the East Coast.
- "The Story of Rua and Tangaroa. An Origin Myth: How the Art of Wood-carving was Acquired by Man/Ko Rua Raua Ko Tangaroa: Te Takenga Mai o Te Whakairo Rakau." Trans. and notes by E[lsdon]. B[est]. Journal of the Polynesian Society 37 (Sept. 1928): 257-260.
- When Rua-te-pupuke’s child, Te Manu-hauturuki, was taken by Tangaroa and placed on the roof of his carved house, Rua searched for his son and devised a plan to destroy the children of Tangaroa and he acquired the art of wood-carving at the same time. The notes accompanying this story in the Journal of the Polynesian Society state that this was taken from the MS volume in the Alexander Turnbull Library, and was written by Henare Potae of Uawa, and Mohi Ruatapu, for Samuel Lock, M.H.R.
- "The Story of Ngae and Tutununui: An East Coast Version of the Kae-Tutunui Myth: The Slaying of Tutununui/Te Patunga O Tutununui: He Mea Kauwhau e nga Koeke o Ngāti-Porou." Trans. and notes by E[lsdon] B[est]. Journal of the Polynesian Society 37 (Sept. 1928): 261-270.
- Potae and Ruatapu tell the East Coast version of the story of Ngae and his brothers being swept to Hawaiki during a fishing trip from their home in Reporua. While his brothers all perished on the journey, Ngae was rescued by Tinirau who offered Ngae his pet whale, Tutununui, to transport Ngae home. Promising to allow the whale to return to Hawaiki when he arrived back in Reporua, Ngae, instead, cooked and ate the whale. On smelling the cooked flesh of his pet whale, Tinirau sent out his sisters and others to find Ngae and eventually after travelling throughout New Zealand they discovered him and through magical means sent him back to Hawaiki where he was killed and eaten. The authors also provide the text of a Takitimu version of this story. The notes accompanying this story in the Journal of the Polynesian Society state that this was taken from the MS volume in the Alexander Turnbull Library, and was written by Henare Potae of Uawa, and Mohi Ruatapu, for Samuel Lock, M.H.R. Elsdon Best writes of the various versions of this story recounted by different tribal groups and published by the early Pakeha collectors of Māori tradition.
- "The Story of Tawhaki/Ko Nga Kōrero O Tawhaki." Trans. and notes by Elsdon Best. Journal of the Polynesian Society 37 (Sept. 1928): 359-366.
- In this version of the story of Tawhaki, of which there are many, Potae writes of Tawhaki’s desire to find his grandmother, Whaitiri, who lived in the heavens. Tawhaki set off with his brother Karihi and eventually they discovered the pathway, Aratiatia, a ladder to the sky. Karihi, however, fell from the ladder and was killed and Tawhaki removed his brother’s eyes and subsequently gave them to his grandmother who had become blind. In the heavens Tawhaki procured his third wife and because of disobeying his grandmother’s commands concerning this wife, she was taken up to the higher heavens where she gave birth to Wahieroa who later fathered Rata. The notes accompanying this story in the Journal of the Polynesian Society state that this was taken from the MS volume in the Alexander Turnbull Library, and was written by Henare Potae of Uawa, and Mohi Ruatapu, for Samuel Lock, M.H.R. In the Māori version Potae provides his whakapapa coming down from Tawhaki.
- "The Maui Myths: As Narrated By Natives Of Tolaga Bay, North Island, New Zealand/Nga Mahi A Maui." Journal of the Polynesian Society 38 (Mar. 1929): 1-26. Written in Māori with English trans. and notes.
- The explanatory notes accompanying this text give a background to Maui and his brothers and include a list of the thirteen famous incidents associated with Maui of which eight are mentioned in the text. The editorial notes observe that the original of this text was ‘written down by the late Henare Potae of Tolaga Bay many years ago’. Also included with the English translation is a list of data relating to the Maui Myths. This account of the Maui Myths includes the account of Maui excelling as a dart thrower; inventing a net for fishing; making barbs for snaring birds; descending into the underworld to find his mother; taking fire from Mahuika; turning Irawaru into a dog; playing cat’s cradle with his family; fishing with the jawbone of Muri-rangawhenua and pulling up land - ‘the fish of Maui’; snaring the sun; and meeting his death with Hine-nui-te-po.
- "Three Old Stories." Trans. and notes by Margaret Orbell. Te Ao Hou 56 (1966): 18-22.
- These stories were taken from the two manuscript books, Māori Manuscripts of Mohi Ruatapu and Henare Potae, which are housed in the Alexander Turnbull Library and were written in about 1876 by Mohi Ruatapu and Henare Potae of the East Coast. The first story, taken from vol. 1: 91-93, describes the warring between Tuere, Tangihaere, and Te Awariki that erupted out of a kite flying dispute and resulted in Te Awariki’s death at the battle of the Flash of Lightning. The story concludes with a further battle carried out by Tuere’s children and the subsequent migration of Tuere’s descendants to Maketu. The next story, from vol. 2: 145-148, concerns a woman captured by a ngarara, or huge lizard, while out walking amongst the tarata trees with another woman. The captured woman manages to inform her people of her forced marriage to the ngarara and they carry out a plan to kill the ngarara. The final story, from vol. 2: 154-158, deals with the consequences of Ngāti Pakura’s refusal to provide Taupengarangi with fish for her children. Taupengarangi’s warriors attacked Ngāti Pakura in retaliation, destroying ten forts and almost completely decimating the strength of Ngāti Pakura. The remainder of the tribe eventually fled to Hawaiki.
- Taylor, C. R. H. A Bibliography of Publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Oxford: Clarendon, Oxford UP, 1972. 75.